Prime Rate. The prime rate in Canada is currently %. The prime rate, also known as the prime lending rate, is the annual interest rate Canada’s major banks and financial institutions use to set interest rates for variable loans and lines of credit, including variable-rate mortgages. CIBC Prime Rate. The prime rate is the lending rate Canada’s banks and financial institutions use to set interest rates for variable loans and lines of credit, including mortgages.
Greenhouse gas - a gas that"traps" infrared radiation in the lower atmosphere causing surface warming; water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, hydrofluorocarbons, and ozone are the primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere. Groundwater - water sources found below the surface of the earth often in naturally occurring reservoirs in permeable rock strata; the source for wells and natural springs. Highlands Water Project - a series of dams constructed jointly by Lesotho and South Africa to redirect Lesotho's abundant water supply into a rapidly growing area in South Africa; while it is the largest infrastructure project in southern Africa, it is also the most costly and controversial; objections to the project include claims that it forces people from their homes, submerges farmlands, and squanders economic resources.
Inuit Circumpolar Conference ICC - represents the roughly , Inuits of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Russia in international environmental issues; a General Assembly convenes every three years to determine the focus of the ICC; the most current concerns are long-range transport of pollutants, sustainable development, and climate change. Metallurgical plants - industries which specialize in the science, technology, and processing of metals; these plants produce highly concentrated and toxic wastes which can contribute to pollution of ground water and air when not properly disposed.
Noxious substances - injurious, very harmful to living beings. Overgrazing - the grazing of animals on plant material faster than it can naturally regrow leading to the permanent loss of plant cover, a common effect of too many animals grazing limited range land. Ozone shield - a layer of the atmosphere composed of ozone gas O3 that resides approximately 25 miles above the Earth's surface and absorbs solar ultraviolet radiation that can be harmful to living organisms.
Poaching - the illegal killing of animals or fish, a great concern with respect to endangered or threatened species. Pollution - the contamination of a healthy environment by man-made waste. Potable water - water that is drinkable, safe to be consumed. Salination - the process through which fresh drinkable water becomes salt undrinkable water; hence, desalination is the reverse process; also involves the accumulation of salts in topsoil caused by evaporation of excessive irrigation water, a process that can eventually render soil incapable of supporting crops.
Siltation - occurs when water channels and reservoirs become clotted with silt and mud, a side effect of deforestation and soil erosion.
Slash-and-burn agriculture - a rotating cultivation technique in which trees are cut down and burned in order to clear land for temporary agriculture; the land is used until its productivity declines at which point a new plot is selected and the process repeats; this practice is sustainable while population levels are low and time is permitted for regrowth of natural vegetation; conversely, where these conditions do not exist, the practice can have disastrous consequences for the environment.
Soil degradation - damage to the land's productive capacity because of poor agricultural practices such as the excessive use of pesticides or fertilizers, soil compaction from heavy equipment, or erosion of topsoil, eventually resulting in reduced ability to produce agricultural products. Soil erosion - the removal of soil by the action of water or wind, compounded by poor agricultural practices, deforestation, overgrazing, and desertification.
Ultraviolet UV radiation - a portion of the electromagnetic energy emitted by the sun and naturally filtered in the upper atmosphere by the ozone layer; UV radiation can be harmful to living organisms and has been linked to increasing rates of skin cancer in humans.
Waterborne diseases - those in which bacteria survive in, and are transmitted through, water; always a serious threat in areas with an untreated water supply. Environment - international agreements. This entry separates country participation in international environmental agreements into two levels - party to and signed, but not ratified. Agreements are listed in alphabetical order by the abbreviated form of the full name. This information is presented in Appendix C: Selected International Environmental Agreements , which includes the name, abbreviation, date opened for signature, date entered into force, objective, and parties by category.
This entry provides an ordered listing of ethnic groups starting with the largest and normally includes the percent of total population. This entry provides the average annual price of a country's monetary unit for the time period specified, expressed in units of local currency per US dollar, as determined by international market forces or by official fiat. The International Organization for Standardization ISO alphabetic currency code for the national medium of exchange is presented in parenthesis.
Closing daily exchange rates are not presented in The World Factbook , but are used to convert stock values - e. This entry includes five subentries: Chief of state includes the name, title, and beginning date in office of the titular leader of the country who represents the state at official and ceremonial functions but may not be involved with the day-to-day activities of the government.
Head of government includes the name, title of the top executive designated to manage the executive branch of the government, and the beginning date in office. Chiefs of state in just over countries are directly elected, most by majority popular vote; those in another 55 are indirectly elected by their national legislatures, parliaments, or electoral colleges.
Another 29 countries have a monarch as the chief of state. In dependencies, territories, and collectivities of sovereign countries - except those of the US - representatives are appointed to serve as chiefs of state. Heads of government in the majority of countries are appointed either by the president or the monarch or selected by the majority party in the legislative body. Excluding countries where the chief of state is also head of government, in only a few countries is the head of government directly elected through popular vote.
Most of the world's countries have cabinets, the majority of which are appointed by the chief of state or prime minister, many in consultation with each other or with the legislature. Cabinets in only about a dozen countries are elected solely by their legislative bodies. This entry provides the total US dollar amount of merchandise exports on an f. This entry provides a listing of the highest-valued exported products; it sometimes includes the percent of total dollar value.
This entry provides a rank ordering of trading partners starting with the most important; it sometimes includes the percent of total dollar value. This entry identifies the beginning and ending months for a country's accounting period of 12 months, which often is the calendar year but which may begin in any month. All yearly references are for the calendar year CY unless indicated as a noncalendar fiscal year FY.
This entry provides a written flag description produced from actual flags or the best information available at the time the entry was written. The flags of independent states are used by their dependencies unless there is an officially recognized local flag. Some disputed and other areas do not have flags. Most versions of the Factbook include a color flag at the beginning of the country profile.
The flag graphics were produced from actual flags or the best information available at the time of preparation. GDP official exchange rate. This entry gives the gross domestic product GDP or value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. The measure is simple to compute and gives a precise measure of the value of output. Moreover, even if the official exchange rate is market-determined, market exchange rates are frequently established by a relatively small set of goods and services the ones the country trades and may not capture the value of the larger set of goods the country produces.
GDP purchasing power parity. A nation's GDP at purchasing power parity PPP exchange rates is the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United States in the year noted. This is the measure most economists prefer when looking at per-capita welfare and when comparing living conditions or use of resources across countries.
The measure is difficult to compute, as a US dollar value has to be assigned to all goods and services in the country regardless of whether these goods and services have a direct equivalent in the United States for example, the value of an ox-cart or non-US military equipment ; as a result, PPP estimates for some countries are based on a small and sometimes different set of goods and services. In addition, many countries do not formally participate in the World Bank's PPP project that calculates these measures, so the resulting GDP estimates for these countries may lack precision.
GDP - composition, by end use. This entry shows who does the spending in an economy: The distribution gives the percentage contribution to total GDP of household consumption, government consumption, investment in fixed capital, investment in inventories, exports of goods and services, and imports of goods and services , and will total percent of GDP if the data are complete.
This includes consumption of both domestically produced and foreign goods and services. These figures exclude government transfer payments, such as interest on debt, unemployment, and social security, since such payments are not made in exchange for goods and services supplied.
It is measured gross of the depreciation of the assets, i. Earlier editions of The World Factbook referred to this concept as Investment gross fixed and that data now have been moved to this new field. This figure may be positive or negative. If the stock of unsold output increases during the relevant time period, investment in inventories is positive, but, if the stock of unsold goods declines, it will be negative.
Investment in inventories normally is an early indicator of the state of the economy. If the stock of unsold items increases unexpectedly — because people stop buying - the economy may be entering a recession; but if the stock of unsold items falls - and goods "go flying off the shelves" - businesses normally try to replace those stocks, and the economy is likely to accelerate.
Exports are treated as a positive item, while imports are treated as a negative item. In a purely accounting sense, imports have no direct impact on GDP, which only measures output of the domestic economy. Imports are entered as a negative item to offset the fact that the expenditure figures for consumption, investment, government, and exports also include expenditures on imports. Because of this negative offset for imports of goods and services, the sum of the other five items, excluding imports, will always total more than percent of GDP.
A surplus of exports of goods and services over imports indicates an economy is investing abroad, while a deficit indicates an economy is borrowing from abroad. GDP - composition, by sector of origin.
This entry shows where production takes place in an economy. The distribution gives the percentage contribution of agriculture, industry , and services to total GDP, and will total percent of GDP if the data are complete. Agriculture includes farming, fishing, and forestry.
Industry includes mining, manufacturing, energy production, and construction. Services cover government activities, communications, transportation, finance, and all other private economic activities that do not produce material goods.
This entry shows GDP on a purchasing power parity basis divided by population as of 1 July for the same year. GDP - real growth rate. This entry gives GDP growth on an annual basis adjusted for inflation and expressed as a percent. The growth rates are year-over-year, and not compounded. Both measures contain information that is useful to the reader. The PPP method involves the use of standardized international dollar price weights, which are applied to the quantities of final goods and services produced in a given economy.
The data derived from the PPP method probably provide the best available starting point for comparisons of economic strength and well-being between countries. In contrast, the currency exchange rate method involves a variety of international and domestic financial forces that may not capture the value of domestic output.
In developing countries with weak currencies, the exchange rate estimate of GDP in dollars is typically one-fourth to one-half the PPP estimate. GDP derived using the OER method should be used for the purpose of calculating the share of items such as exports, imports, military expenditures, external debt, or the current account balance, because the dollar values presented in the Factbook for these items have been converted at official exchange rates, not at PPP.
One should use the OER GDP figure to calculate the proportion of, say, Chinese defense expenditures in GDP, because that share will be the same as one calculated in local currency units.
However, there is no strong historical evidence that market exchange rates move in the direction implied by the PPP rate, at least not in the short- or medium-term. This entry includes rounded latitude and longitude figures for the centroid or center point of a country expressed in degrees and minutes; it is based on the locations provided in the Geographic Names Server GNS , maintained by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency on behalf of the US Board on Geographic Names.
This information is presented in Appendix F: Cross Reference List of Geographic Names. It includes a listing of various alternate names, former names, local names, and regional names referenced to one or more related Factbook entries.
Alternate names and additional information are included in parentheses. This category includes the entries dealing with the natural environment and the effects of human activity. This entry includes miscellaneous geographic information of significance not included elsewhere. See entry for Distribution of family income - Gini index. Gross national product GNP is the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year, plus income earned by its citizens abroad, minus income earned by foreigners from domestic production.
However, the user must realize that in certain countries net remittances from citizens working abroad may be important to national well-being. This category includes the entries dealing with the system for the adoption and administration of public policy. This entry includes miscellaneous government information of significance not included elsewhere.
This entry gives the basic form of government. Definitions of the major governmental terms are as follows. Note that for some countries more than one definition applies. Absolute monarchy - a form of government where the monarch rules unhindered, i. Anarchy - a condition of lawlessness or political disorder brought about by the absence of governmental authority. Authoritarian - a form of government in which state authority is imposed onto many aspects of citizens' lives.
Commonwealth - a nation, state, or other political entity founded on law and united by a compact of the people for the common good. Communist - a system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single - often authoritarian - party holds power; state controls are imposed with the elimination of private ownership of property or capital while claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people i.
Confederacy Confederation - a union by compact or treaty between states, provinces, or territories, that creates a central government with limited powers; the constituent entities retain supreme authority over all matters except those delegated to the central government.
Constitutional - a government by or operating under an authoritative document constitution that sets forth the system of fundamental laws and principles that determines the nature, functions, and limits of that government. Constitutional democracy - a form of government in which the sovereign power of the people is spelled out in a governing constitution. Democracy - a form of government in which the supreme power is retained by the people, but which is usually exercised indirectly through a system of representation and delegated authority periodically renewed.
Democratic republic - a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them. Dictatorship - a form of government in which a ruler or small clique wield absolute power not restricted by a constitution or laws. Ecclesiastical - a government administrated by a church.
Emirate - similar to a monarchy or sultanate, but a government in which the supreme power is in the hands of an emir the ruler of a Muslim state ; the emir may be an absolute overlord or a sovereign with constitutionally limited authority.
Federal Federation - a form of government in which sovereign power is formally divided - usually by means of a constitution - between a central authority and a number of constituent regions states, colonies, or provinces so that each region retains some management of its internal affairs; differs from a confederacy in that the central government exerts influence directly upon both individuals as well as upon the regional units.
Federal republic - a state in which the powers of the central government are restricted and in which the component parts states, colonies, or provinces retain a degree of self-government; ultimate sovereign power rests with the voters who chose their governmental representatives. Islamic republic - a particular form of government adopted by some Muslim states; although such a state is, in theory, a theocracy, it remains a republic, but its laws are required to be compatible with the laws of Islam.
Maoism - the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism developed in China by Mao Zedong Mao Tse-tung , which states that a continuous revolution is necessary if the leaders of a communist state are to keep in touch with the people. Marxism - the political, economic, and social principles espoused by 19th century economist Karl Marx; he viewed the struggle of workers as a progression of historical forces that would proceed from a class struggle of the proletariat workers exploited by capitalists business owners , to a socialist"dictatorship of the proletariat," to, finally, a classless society - Communism.
Marxism-Leninism - an expanded form of communism developed by Lenin from doctrines of Karl Marx; Lenin saw imperialism as the final stage of capitalism and shifted the focus of workers' struggle from developed to underdeveloped countries.
Monarchy - a government in which the supreme power is lodged in the hands of a monarch who reigns over a state or territory, usually for life and by hereditary right; the monarch may be either a sole absolute ruler or a sovereign - such as a king, queen, or prince - with constitutionally limited authority.
Oligarchy - a government in which control is exercised by a small group of individuals whose authority generally is based on wealth or power. Parliamentary democracy - a political system in which the legislature parliament selects the government - a prime minister, premier, or chancellor along with the cabinet ministers - according to party strength as expressed in elections; by this system, the government acquires a dual responsibility: Parliamentary government Cabinet-Parliamentary government - a government in which members of an executive branch the cabinet and its leader - a prime minister, premier, or chancellor are nominated to their positions by a legislature or parliament, and are directly responsible to it; this type of government can be dissolved at will by the parliament legislature by means of a no confidence vote or the leader of the cabinet may dissolve the parliament if it can no longer function.
Parliamentary monarchy - a state headed by a monarch who is not actively involved in policy formation or implementation i. Presidential - a system of government where the executive branch exists separately from a legislature to which it is generally not accountable. Republic - a representative democracy in which the people's elected deputies representatives , not the people themselves, vote on legislation. Socialism - a government in which the means of planning, producing, and distributing goods is controlled by a central government that theoretically seeks a more just and equitable distribution of property and labor; in actuality, most socialist governments have ended up being no more than dictatorships over workers by a ruling elite.
Sultanate - similar to a monarchy, but a government in which the supreme power is in the hands of a sultan the head of a Muslim state ; the sultan may be an absolute ruler or a sovereign with constitutionally limited authority. Theocracy - a form of government in which a Deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler, but the Deity's laws are interpreted by ecclesiastical authorities bishops, mullahs, etc.
Totalitarian - a government that seeks to subordinate the individual to the state by controlling not only all political and economic matters, but also the attitudes, values, and beliefs of its population. The mean solar time at the Greenwich Meridian, Greenwich, England, with the hours and days, since , reckoned from midnight. See Coordinated Universal Time.
Gross national saving is derived by deducting final consumption expenditure household plus government from Gross national disposable income, and consists of personal saving, plus business saving the sum of the capital consumption allowance and retained business profits , plus government saving the excess of tax revenues over expenditures , but excludes foreign saving the excess of imports of goods and services over exports.
The figures are presented as a percent of GDP. A negative number indicates that the economy as a whole is spending more income than it produces, thus drawing down national wealth dissaving. This entry gives the gross world product GWP or aggregate value of all final goods and services produced worldwide in a given year. This entry provides the total expenditure on health as a percentage of GDP. This entry gives the total number of heliports with hard-surface runways, helipads, or landing areas that support routine sustained helicopter operations exclusively and have support facilities including one or more of the following facilities: It includes former airports used exclusively for helicopter operations but excludes heliports limited to day operations and natural clearings that could support helicopter landings and takeoffs.
This entry gives an estimate of the number of adults and children who died of AIDS during a given calendar year. This entry gives an estimate of all people adults and children alive at yearend with HIV infection, whether or not they have developed symptoms of AIDS.
This entry provides the number of hospital beds per 1, people; it serves as a general measure of inpatient service availability. Hospital beds include inpatient beds available in public, private, general, and specialized hospitals and rehabilitation centers. In most cases, beds for both acute and chronic care are included.
Because the level of inpatient services required for individual countries depends on several factors - such as demographic issues and the burden of disease - there is no global target for the number of hospital beds per country. So, while 2 beds per 1, in one country may be sufficient, 2 beds per 1, in another may be woefully inadequate because of the number of people hospitalized by disease.
Household income or consumption by percentage share. Data on household income or consumption come from household surveys, the results adjusted for household size. Nations use different standards and procedures in collecting and adjusting the data.
Surveys based on income will normally show a more unequal distribution than surveys based on consumption. The quality of surveys is improving with time, yet caution is still necessary in making inter-country comparisons. This entry gives information on the five categories of illicit drugs - narcotics, stimulants, depressants sedatives , hallucinogens, and cannabis.
These categories include many drugs legally produced and prescribed by doctors as well as those illegally produced and sold outside of medical channels. Cannabis Cannabis sativa is the common hemp plant, which provides hallucinogens with some sedative properties, and includes marijuana pot, Acapulco gold, grass, reefer , tetrahydrocannabinol THC, Marinol , hashish hash , and hashish oil hash oil.
Coca mostly Erythroxylum coca is a bush with leaves that contain the stimulant used to make cocaine. Coca is not to be confused with cocoa, which comes from cacao seeds and is used in making chocolate, cocoa, and cocoa butter. Cocaine is a stimulant derived from the leaves of the coca bush. Depressants sedatives are drugs that reduce tension and anxiety and include chloral hydrate, barbiturates Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, phenobarbital , benzodiazepines Librium, Valium , methaqualone Quaalude , glutethimide Doriden , and others Equanil, Placidyl, Valmid.
Drugs are any chemical substances that effect a physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral change in an individual. Drug abuse is the use of any licit or illicit chemical substance that results in physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral impairment in an individual. Hallucinogens are drugs that affect sensation, thinking, self-awareness, and emotion. Hashish is the resinous exudate of the cannabis or hemp plant Cannabis sativa.
Heroin is a semisynthetic derivative of morphine. Mandrax is a trade name for methaqualone, a pharmaceutical depressant. Marijuana is the dried leaf of the cannabis or hemp plant Cannabis sativa. Methaqualone is a pharmaceutical depressant, referred to as mandrax in Southwest Asia and Africa. Narcotics are drugs that relieve pain, often induce sleep, and refer to opium, opium derivatives, and synthetic substitutes.
Natural narcotics include opium paregoric, parepectolin , morphine MS-Contin, Roxanol , codeine Tylenol with codeine, Empirin with codeine, Robitussin AC , and thebaine. Semisynthetic narcotics include heroin horse, smack , and hydromorphone Dilaudid. Opium is the brown, gummy exudate of the incised, unripe seedpod of the opium poppy. Opium poppy Papaver somniferum is the source for the natural and semisynthetic narcotics.
Poppy straw is the entire cut and dried opium poppy-plant material, other than the seeds. Opium is extracted from poppy straw in commercial operations that produce the drug for medical use. Qat kat, khat is a stimulant from the buds or leaves of Catha edulis that is chewed or drunk as tea. Quaaludes is the North American slang term for methaqualone, a pharmaceutical depressant. Stimulants are drugs that relieve mild depression, increase energy and activity, and include cocaine coke, snow, crack , amphetamines Desoxyn, Dexedrine , ephedrine, ecstasy clarity, essence, doctor, Adam , phenmetrazine Preludin , methylphenidate Ritalin , and others Cylert, Sanorex, Tenuate.
This entry provides the total US dollar amount of merchandise imports on a c. This entry provides a listing of the highest-valued imported products; it sometimes includes the percent of total dollar value.
For most countries, this entry gives the date that sovereignty was achieved and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship. For the other countries, the date given may not represent "independence" in the strict sense, but rather some significant nationhood event such as the traditional founding date or the date of unification, federation, confederation, establishment, fundamental change in the form of government, or state succession.
For a number of countries, the establishment of statehood was a lengthy evolutionary process occurring over decades or even centuries. In such cases, several significant dates are cited. Dependent areas include the notation "none" followed by the nature of their dependency status. Industrial production growth rate. This entry gives the annual percentage increase in industrial production includes manufacturing, mining, and construction.
This entry provides a rank ordering of industries starting with the largest by value of annual output. This entry gives the number of deaths of infants under one year old in a given year per 1, live births in the same year. This rate is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country. Inflation rate consumer prices. This entry furnishes the annual percent change in consumer prices compared with the previous year's consumer prices.
International law organization participation. This entry lists in alphabetical order by abbreviation those international organizations in which the subject country is a member or participates in some other way. This information is presented in Appendix B: International Organizations and Groups which includes the name, abbreviation, date established, aim, and members by category. This entry gives the total number of individuals within a country who can access the Internet at home, via any device type computer or mobile and connection.
The percent of population with Internet access i. Statistics vary from country to country and may include users who access the Internet at least several times a week to those who access it only once within a period of several months.
This category includes one entry, Background. This entry records total business spending on fixed assets, such as factories, machinery, equipment, dwellings, and inventories of raw materials, which provide the basis for future production. This entry gives the number of square kilometers of land area that is artificially supplied with water. The highest court s subfield includes the name s of a country's highest level court s , the number and titles of the judges, and the types of cases heard by the court, which commonly are based on civil, criminal, administrative, and constitutional law.
A number of countries have separate constitutional courts. The judge selection and term of office subfield includes the organizations and associated officials responsible for nominating and appointing judges, and a brief description of the process.
The selection process can be indicative of the independence of a country's court system from other branches of its government. Also included in this subfield are judges' tenures, which can range from a few years, to a specified retirement age, to lifelong appointments. The subordinate courts subfield lists the courts lower in the hierarchy of a country's court system. A few countries with federal-style governments, such as Brazil, Canada, and the US, in addition to their federal court, have separate state- or province-level court systems, though generally the two systems interact.
This entry contains the total labor force figure. Labor force - by occupation. This entry lists the percentage distribution of the labor force by sector of occupation. Services cover government activities, communications, transportation, finance, and all other economic activities that do not produce material goods. The distribution will total less than percent if the data are incomplete and may range from percent due to rounding.
This entry contains the total length of all land boundaries and the individual lengths for each of the contiguous border countries. When available, official lengths published by national statistical agencies are used. Because surveying methods may differ, country border lengths reported by contiguous countries may differ.
This entry contains the percentage shares of total land area for three different types of land use: This entry provides a listing of languages spoken in each country and specifies any that are official national or regional languages. When data is available, the languages spoken in each country are broken down according to the percent of the total population speaking each language as a first language.
For those countries without available data, languages are listed in rank order based on prevalence, starting with the most-spoken language. This entry provides the description of a country's legal system. A statement on judicial review of legislative acts is also included for a number of countries.
The legal systems of nearly all countries are generally modeled upon elements of five main types: An additional type of legal system - international law, which governs the conduct of independent nations in their relationships with one another - is also addressed below.
The following list describes these legal systems, the countries or world regions where these systems are enforced, and a brief statement on the origins and major features of each. Civil Law - The most widespread type of legal system in the world, applied in various forms in approximately countries.
The major feature of civil law systems is that the laws are organized into systematic written codes. In civil law the sources recognized as authoritative are principally legislation - especially codifications in constitutions or statutes enacted by governments - and secondarily, custom. The civil law systems in some countries are based on more than one code. Common Law - A type of legal system, often synonymous with"English common law," which is the system of England and Wales in the UK, and is also in force in approximately 80 countries formerly part of or influenced by the former British Empire.
English common law reflects Biblical influences as well as remnants of law systems imposed by early conquerors including the Romans, Anglo-Saxons, and Normans.
Until the time of his reign, laws customary among England's various manorial and ecclesiastical church jurisdictions were administered locally. Henry II established the king's court and designated that laws were "common" to the entire English realm. The foundation of English common law is "legal precedent" - referred to as stare decisis , meaning "to stand by things decided.
Customary Law - A type of legal system that serves as the basis of, or has influenced, the present-day laws in approximately 40 countries - mostly in Africa, but some in the Pacific islands, Europe, and the Near East.
Customary law is also referred to as"primitive law," "unwritten law," "indigenous law," and "folk law. The earliest systems of law in human society were customary, and usually developed in small agrarian and hunter-gatherer communities.
As the term implies, customary law is based upon the customs of a community. Common attributes of customary legal systems are that they are seldom written down, they embody an organized set of rules regulating social relations, and they are agreed upon by members of the community. Although such law systems include sanctions for law infractions, resolution tends to be reconciliatory rather than punitive. A number of African states practiced customary law many centuries prior to colonial influences.
Following colonization, such laws were written down and incorporated to varying extents into the legal systems imposed by their colonial powers. European Union Law - A sub-discipline of international law known as"supranational law" in which the rights of sovereign nations are limited in relation to one another.
Also referred to as the Law of the European Union or Community Law, it is the unique and complex legal system that operates in tandem with the laws of the 27 member states of the European Union EU. Similar to federal states, the EU legal system ensures compliance from the member states because of the Union's decentralized political nature.
Fundamental principles of European Union law include: French Law - A type of civil law that is the legal system of France. The French system also serves as the basis for, or is mixed with, other legal systems in approximately 50 countries, notably in North Africa, the Near East, and the French territories and dependencies.
French law is primarily codified or systematic written civil law. Prior to the French Revolution , France had no single national legal system. Laws in the northern areas of present-day France were mostly local customs based on privileges and exemptions granted by kings and feudal lords, while in the southern areas Roman law predominated. The introduction of the Napoleonic Civil Code during the reign of Napoleon I in the first decade of the 19th century brought major reforms to the French legal system, many of which remain part of France's current legal structure, though all have been extensively amended or redrafted to address a modern nation.
French law distinguishes between"public law" and "private law. Private law covers issues between private citizens or corporations. The most recent changes to the French legal system - introduced in the s - were the decentralization laws, which transferred authority from centrally appointed government representatives to locally elected representatives of the people.
International Law - The law of the international community, or the body of customary rules and treaty rules accepted as legally binding by states in their relations with each other.
International law differs from other legal systems in that it primarily concerns sovereign political entities. There are three separate disciplines of international law: At present the European Union is the only entity under a supranational legal system.
The term"international law" was coined by Jeremy Bentham in in his Principles of Morals and Legislation , though laws governing relations between states have been recognized from very early times many centuries B.
Modern international law developed alongside the emergence and growth of the European nation-states beginning in the early 16th century. Other factors that influenced the development of international law included the revival of legal studies, the growth of international trade, and the practice of exchanging emissaries and establishing legations.
Islamic Law - The most widespread type of religious law, it is the legal system enforced in over 30 countries, particularly in the Near East, but also in Central and South Asia, Africa, and Indonesia. In many countries Islamic law operates in tandem with a civil law system. Islamic law is embodied in the sharia, an Arabic word meaning"the right path. The primary sources of sharia law are the Qur'an, believed by Muslims to be the word of God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by the angel Gabriel, and the Sunnah, the teachings of the Prophet and his works.
In addition to these two primary sources, traditional Sunni Muslims recognize the consensus of Muhammad's companions and Islamic jurists on certain issues, called ijmas, and various forms of reasoning, including analogy by legal scholars, referred to as qiyas. Shia Muslims reject ijmas and qiyas as sources of sharia law. Mixed Law - Also referred to as pluralistic law, mixed law consists of elements of some or all of the other main types of legal systems - civil, common, customary, and religious.
The mixed legal systems of a number of countries came about when colonial powers overlaid their own legal systems upon colonized regions but retained elements of the colonies' existing legal systems. The Civil Code was established under Napoleon I, enacted in , and officially designated the Code Napoleon in This legal system combined the Teutonic civil law tradition of the northern provinces of France with the Roman law tradition of the southern and eastern regions of the country.
As enacted in , the Code addressed personal status, property, and the acquisition of property. Codes added over the following six years included civil procedures, commercial law, criminal law and procedures, and a penal code. Religious Law - A legal system which stems from the sacred texts of religious traditions and in most cases professes to cover all aspects of life as a seamless part of devotional obligations to a transcendent, imminent, or deep philosophical reality.
Implied as the basis of religious law is the concept of unalterability, because the word of God cannot be amended or legislated against by judges or governments. However, a detailed legal system generally requires human elaboration.
The main types of religious law are sharia in Islam, halakha in Judaism, and canon law in some Christian groups. Sharia is the most widespread religious legal system see Islamic Law , and is the sole system of law for countries including Iran, the Maldives, and Saudi Arabia.
No country is fully governed by halakha, but Jewish people may decide to settle disputes through Jewish courts and be bound by their rulings. Canon law is not a divine law as such because it is not found in revelation. It is viewed instead as human law inspired by the word of God and applying the demands of that revelation to the actual situation of the church.
Roman Law - A type of civil law developed in ancient Rome and practiced from the time of the city's founding traditionally B. Roman law remained the legal system of the Byzantine Eastern Empire until the fall of Constantinople in Preserved fragments of the first legal text, known as the Law of the Twelve Tables, dating from the 5th century B.
Early Roman law was drawn from custom and statutes; later, during the time of the empire, emperors asserted their authority as the ultimate source of law. The basis for Roman laws was the idea that the exact form - not the intention - of words or of actions produced legal consequences. It was only in the late 6th century A. Roman law served as the basis of law systems developed in a number of continental European countries. Roman-Dutch law serves as the basis for legal systems in seven African countries, as well as Guyana, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka.
This law system, which originated in the province of Holland and expanded throughout the Netherlands to be replaced by the French Civil Code in , was instituted in a number of sub-Saharan African countries during the Dutch colonial period. Spanish Law - A type of civil law, often referred to as the Spanish Civil Code, it is the present legal system of Spain and is the basis of legal systems in 12 countries mostly in Central and South America, but also in southwestern Europe, northern and western Africa, and southeastern Asia.
The Spanish Civil Code reflects a complex mixture of customary, Roman, Napoleonic, local, and modern codified law. The laws of the Visigoth invaders of Spain in the 5th to 7th centuries had the earliest major influence on Spanish legal system development. The Christian Reconquest of Spain in the 11th through 15th centuries witnessed the development of customary law, which combined canon religious and Roman law. During several centuries of Hapsburg and Bourbon rule, systematic recompilations of the existing national legal system were attempted, but these often conflicted with local and regional customary civil laws.
Legal system development for most of the 19th century concentrated on formulating a national civil law system, which was finally enacted in as the Spanish Civil Code. Several sections of the code have been revised, the most recent of which are the penal code in and the judiciary code in The Spanish Civil Code separates public and private law.
Public law includes constitutional law, administrative law, criminal law, process law, financial and tax law, and international public law. Private law includes civil law, commercial law, labor law, and international private law. United States Law - A type of common law, which is the basis of the legal system of the United States and that of its island possessions in the Caribbean and the Pacific.
This legal system has several layers, more possibly than in most other countries, and is due in part to the division between federal and state law.
The United States was founded not as one nation but as a union of 13 colonies, each claiming independence from the British Crown. The US Constitution, implemented in , began shifting power away from the states and toward the federal government, though the states today retain substantial legal authority. US law draws its authority from four sources: Constitutional law is based on the US Constitution and serves as the supreme federal law.
Taken together with those of the state constitutions, these documents outline the general structure of the federal and state governments and provide the rules and limits of power.
The 50 state legislatures have similar authority to enact state statutes. Administrative law is the authority delegated to federal and state executive agencies. Case law, also referred to as common law, covers areas where constitutional or statutory law is lacking. Case law is a collection of judicial decisions, customs, and general principles that began in England centuries ago, that were adopted in America at the time of the Revolution, and that continue to develop today.
This entry has three subfields. The description subfield provides the legislative structure unicameral — single house; bicameral — an upper and a lower house ; formal name s ; number of member seats; types of constituencies or voting districts single seat, multi-seat, nationwide ; electoral voting system s ; and member term of office.
The elections subfield includes the dates of the last election and next election. In general, parties with less than four seats and less than 4 percent of the vote are aggregated and listed as "other," and non-party-affiliated seats are listed as "independent. Of the approximately countries with legislative bodies, approximately two-thirds are unicameral, and the remainder, bicameral. In general, members are either directly elected by a country's eligible voters using a defined electoral system; indirectly elected or selected by its province, state, or department legislatures; or appointed by the country's executive body.
Legislative members in many countries are selected both directly and indirectly, and the electoral laws of some countries reserve seats for women and various ethnic and minority groups. If none of the candidates meets that vote threshold in the initial election, a second poll or"runoff" is held soon after for the two top vote getters, and the candidate receiving a simple vote majority is declared the winner.
There are various forms of proportional representation and the degree of reaching proportionality varies. Some forms of proportional representation are focused solely on achieving the proportional representation of different political parties and voters cast ballots only for political parties, whereas in other forms, voters cast ballots for individual candidates within a political party.
Many countries with bicameral legislatures use different voting systems for the two chambers. Life expectancy at birth. This entry contains the average number of years to be lived by a group of people born in the same year, if mortality at each age remains constant in the future.
Life expectancy at birth is also a measure of overall quality of life in a country and summarizes the mortality at all ages. It can also be thought of as indicating the potential return on investment in human capital and is necessary for the calculation of various actuarial measures. This entry includes a definition of literacy and Census Bureau percentages for the total population , males , and females.
There are no universal definitions and standards of literacy. Unless otherwise specified, all rates are based on the most common definition - the ability to read and write at a specified age. Detailing the standards that individual countries use to assess the ability to read and write is beyond the scope of the Factbook. Information on literacy, while not a perfect measure of educational results, is probably the most easily available and valid for international comparisons.
Low levels of literacy, and education in general, can impede the economic development of a country in the current rapidly changing, technology-driven world. This entry identifies the country's regional location, neighboring countries, and adjacent bodies of water. This entry lists major infectious diseases likely to be encountered in countries where the risk of such diseases is assessed to be very high as compared to the United States. These infectious diseases represent risks to US government personnel traveling to the specified country for a period of less than three years.
The degree of risk is assessed by considering the foreign nature of these infectious diseases, their severity, and the probability of being affected by the diseases present. The diseases listed do not necessarily represent the total disease burden experienced by the local population. The risk to an individual traveler varies considerably by the specific location, visit duration, type of activities, type of accommodations, time of year, and other factors. Consultation with a travel medicine physician is needed to evaluate individual risk and recommend appropriate preventive measures such as vaccines.
Diseases are organized into the following six exposure categories shown in italics and listed in typical descending order of risk. The sequence of exposure categories listed in individual country entries may vary according to local conditions. Hepatitis E - water-borne viral disease that interferes with the functioning of the liver; most commonly spread through fecal contamination of drinking water; victims exhibit jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, and dark colored urine.
African Trypanosomiasis - caused by the parasitic protozoa Trypanosoma ; transmitted to humans via the bite of bloodsucking Tsetse flies; infection leads to malaise and irregular fevers and, in advanced cases when the parasites invade the central nervous system, coma and death; endemic in 36 countries of sub-Saharan Africa; cattle and wild animals act as reservoir hosts for the parasites.
Chikungunya - mosquito-borne Aedes aegypti viral disease associated with urban environments, similar to Dengue Fever; characterized by sudden onset of fever, rash, and severe joint pain usually lasting days, some cases result in persistent arthritis. Leptospirosis - bacterial disease that affects animals and humans; infection occurs through contact with water, food, or soil contaminated by animal urine; symptoms include high fever, severe headache, vomiting, jaundice, and diarrhea; untreated, the disease can result in kidney damage, liver failure, meningitis, or respiratory distress; fatality rates are low but left untreated recovery can take months.
Rabies - viral disease of mammals usually transmitted through the bite of an infected animal, most commonly dogs; virus affects the central nervous system causing brain alteration and death; symptoms initially are non-specific fever and headache progressing to neurological symptoms; death occurs within days of the onset of symptoms.
Major urban areas - population. This entry provides the population of the capital and up to six major cities defined as urban agglomerations with populations of at least , people.
An urban agglomeration is defined as comprising the city or town proper and also the suburban fringe or thickly settled territory lying outside of, but adjacent to, the boundaries of the city. For smaller countries, lacking urban centers of , or more, only the population of the capital is presented.
Manpower available for military service. This entry gives the number of males and females falling in the military age range for a country defined as being ages and assumes that every individual is fit to serve.
Manpower fit for military service. This entry gives the number of males and females falling in the military age range for a country defined as being ages and who are not otherwise disqualified for health reasons; accounts for the health situation in the country and provides a more realistic estimate of the actual number fit to serve.
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually. This entry gives the number of males and females entering the military manpower pool i. This entry includes the name of the Factbook reference map on which a country may be found. Note that boundary representations on these maps are not necessarily authoritative. The entry on Geographic coordinates may be helpful in finding some smaller countries.
This entry includes the following claims, the definitions of which are excerpted from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea UNCLOS , which alone contains the full and definitive descriptions: The entry includes the number of ships on the high seas or in territorial waters that were boarded or attacked by pirates, and the number of crewmen abducted or killed, as compiled by the International Maritime Bureau.
Information is also supplied on the geographical range of attacks. Market value of publicly traded shares. This entry gives the value of shares issued by publicly traded companies at a price determined in the national stock markets on the final day of the period indicated. It is simply the latest price per share multiplied by the total number of outstanding shares, cumulated over all companies listed on the particular exchange. The maternal mortality rate MMR is the annual number of female deaths per , live births from any cause related to or aggravated by pregnancy or its management excluding accidental or incidental causes.
The MMR includes deaths during pregnancy, childbirth, or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy, irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy, for a specified year. This entry is the age that divides a population into two numerically equal groups; that is, half the people are younger than this age and half are older.
It is a single index that summarizes the age distribution of a population. As the prime rate moves up or down, so too does the rate of interest you pay on your loan. Compare today's variable vs. Each bank sets its own prime rate, but the big five banks usually all have the same prime rate. When the BoC raises the overnight rate, it becomes more expensive for banks to borrow money, and they raise their respective prime rates to cover the added costs. Conversely when the BoC lowers the overnight rate, banks usually lower their prime rates by the same amount.
This chart shows the relationship between the overnight rate and the prime rate over time. As you can see, the rates usually move in lockstep, but not always. In recent years, there have been times when the BoC has lowered the overnight rate, but the banks have not passed on the full discount to their customers.
Prime vs Overnight Rate From - Today. There are two main types of mortgage rates in Canada — fixed and variable. When you get a fixed mortgage rate, you agree to pay the same rate over the entire course of your mortgage term regardless of what happens in the outside market.
When you get a variable mortgage rate, the rate will be expressed as the prime rate plus or minus a certain percentage. When the prime rate goes up or down, your mortgage rate will go up or down by the same amount.
Manpower fit for military service.
He would hold this seat until his retirement from politics in , winning each election with large majorities.